Toyota to take law into own hands - drunks can't drive!

Drink driving is a global problem. Despite the best efforts of legislators and education campaigns, otherwise sensible folk still feel it is acceptable to drive while intoxicated. The result is thousands of senseless deaths in Thailand each year.

Toyota could have the answer to this problem: a car that doesn't let drunk people drive. According to Asahi Shimbun Toyota's system will incorporate various sensors that will work together to determine if the driver is under the influence. Sensors in the steering wheel will determine blood alcohol levels from the sweat of the palms of the driver, preventing the car from being started and operated if the driver is over the limit.

While driving the car will continue to monitor for erratic driving and a camera will check if the drivers eyes are staying in focus. Any signs of drunkenness and the car will slow down and come to a stop.

According to the Asahi Shimbun article, Toyota may bring these systems into commercial applications as soon as 2009.

The question that springs to mind is: who is likely to buy a car that restricts their driving freedom? Don't get me wrong here, I am all for it, but I don't drink and drive. Having that system installed in my car would be of no benefit to me. What would be of benefit to me would be for this system to be fitted to the cars of those who drink and drive, but are they likely to volunteer to give up this freedom to endanger their safety and the safety of others? If the answer was yes, they wouldn't be drinking and driving now.